Friday, 6 December 2013

2013 Review

With 2013 almost over and the Christmas festivities just around the corner, the chance of fishing will be rather limited unfortunately.  I have therefore decided to do a look back over the year and show some of the fish I have been lucky enough to catch.

River Wye

My year started off pretty well. An early season Nymphing session landed me a lovely wild OOS Brownie.  A fish that actually won me Total FlyFisher’s fish of the month.

River fishing was a bit hit and miss over the summer on the Wye, mainly due to the very hot weather we have had.  The cooler months have definitely seen the best fishing.  Despite a few good sessions with the dry fly, this year has been all about the nymphs.  The majority of fish I have caught on the river have been on small (size 14/16) gold head PTN’s using the Duo method – both Grayling and Trout, and the odd Dace, have taken a big liking to this pattern this year.  When the fish have been switched onto the dries, I've had luck with The Grey Duster (on of my favourite patterns), light brown sedges and the ever successful Para Adams.

There have been a couple of firsts on the Wye this year; the first Salmon I’ve ever seen landed, 18lb (However, if was with a plug lure whilst fishing for Pike); but more significantly, Mary Bradbury became the first woman (on record) to hook and land a Salmon on my club waters - a great achievement.

There were also a large number of Goosander, Cormorants and Otters around this year - more so than usual where the otters are concerned, they certainly made the most of the Shads yearly visit (see pic below).  You cannot fish for Shad but I hooked one whilst fishing the duo - they don't half run, put a serious bend in my 4wt.

Otter's lunch

River Irfon

Similar to the Wye, the Irfon suffered heavily with the hot weather.  As the river runs much shallower anyway, there were times you could almost step across it.  The shallow warmer water however did see large Chub move in. I offered them the odd nymph but I think ledgering luncheon meat would have been more successful.  The cold weather was again the best time to catch.  Nymphs again the ordered of the season, with shrimp patterns landing me some bigger fish this winter.

My biggest Grayling of the year - 2lb est

Llyngwyn Lake (Rhayader and Elan Valley Angling Association)

Having took up a summer permit at Llyngwyn I fish there a lot.  Hot weather pushed the fish down, and as the depths are up to 55ft, it was very difficult to catch on times.  I did enjoy some excellent sessions, with the pick of the bunch being myself and Dan Graham landing 30+ fish between us in one of the most hectic afternoons of fishing I have had.  I also managed a full house at the lake (Wild Brown, which was returned, Blue and Rainbow Trout).

I mainly caught on lures, Damsels, Montana’s and Cats Whiskers but on the last day on my permit I took a trip there and landed 7 fish, all on a Klinkhammer off the top including the biggest fish on the season for me a 4lb+ rainbow.

Garnffrwd Fly Fishery

A couple of trips to the excellent Garnffrwd saw some really nice fish caught, made even better by visiting Christine’s CafĂ© for a warm and some food.  But like everywhere else, the weather played a big part in the number fish being caught.


It was fishing a Garnffrwd where my mate Dan landed his PB Brown of 8lb.  I helped him net it and it was a lump!

Chirk Trout Fishery

One of the most fun days I had fishing this year was a Chirk Fishery.  Having never caught a Brook Trout before, I came from there having landing more than 20.  The aggression these fish showed was incredible.  Any lure that passed them by was attacked.  Not massive fish but I was very tired by the time I got from there!

I hope for much of the same when it comes to the actual fishing.  I intend on fishing all my usual haunts as well as some new places - River X on my uncles’ farm and hopefully an early season trip to Ellerdine.

The only thing in my diary for the remainder of the year is the annual 'Fur and Feathers' at Llyngwyn on 22nd December.  This will be my first timing fishing this comp and only my second ever competition.  From friends accounts, its a light hearted competition and just a bit of fun really - something I'm quite looking forward too.

I'll leave you with a few more pics from the year and wish you all tight lines and a very Merry Christmas!

Until next time...

One of my favourite pictures of the year - Red Kite in Flight